COLONY MANAGEMENT SERVICE
The IVS Core offers a comprehensive mouse colony management service. This is an ideal service for those labs who do not have the time or technical ability to manage their own mouse colonies. The fee is based strictly on tech time, meaning that you only pay for the time that you use. In addition, your colony is our responsibility, so you don’t have to worry about staff training, vacations, sick days, or holidays.
The IVS Core can be hired to take care of your mouse colony long-term or short-term. You will be charged for tech time by the hour. Please note that all procedures must be described and approved on your protocol. IVS Core personnel must be added to your protocol before we can work with your mice.
IVS Core staff can provide technical advice and assistance for difficult-to-breed transgenic mouse lines. We can also provide training for timed-breeding experiments.
Breeding and colony expansion may begin when the mice reach sexual maturity. The Breeding protocol is dependent on an investigator’s preferred breeding scheme and may be either monogamous or polygamous. A breeding pair (1 female x 1 male) is encouraged for strains that typically produce large litters in order to avoid cage overcrowding. A breeding triangle (2 females x 1 male) is preferred for strains that produce smaller litters, in order to optimize per diem fees and expansion rates. A harem (multiple females x 1 male) is not allowed, but a valuable male may rotate between eight females, two per cage, for two-week intervals.
Gestation periods typically last between 18 and 22 days. Depending on the strain, the number of neonates born may vary from one to twenty per litter. Pups develop quickly and are ready to eat adult food at two weeks of age. Supplements of breeder chow (high fat content) and electrolyte gel are placed on the floor of the cage to prepare them for weaning which occurs around 21 days of age. A protocol variance is required if a strain requires more than 21 days of development before weaning.
New mice or weaned pups are identified individually by numbered, metal ear tags before ear or tail biopsies are taken. Each ear punch or tail sample taken is no more than 0.5 cm in length and placed in a microfuge tube numbered correspondingly. Lab contacts are informed when the biopsies are ready for pick up from the designated refrigerator. Once genotyped, it is the duty of the investigator to inform the IVS member of the results and which mice they wish to keep for study.
Colony inventory reports are sent to the investigators and designated laboratory contacts beginning one week after arrival of a mouse colony to the IVS Core for management. The reports will indicate status and location of the mice in the form of Excel spreadsheets. The inventory report provides strain names, tag numbers, gender, birth dates, and generation. Breeding reports are sent once the mice are set up for mating. Inventory and breeding reports are updated weekly and sent via email. Reports are archived and accessible to any investigator who wishes to retrieve older data.
- The cost of the Mouse Colony Management service is based strictly on tech time at $64.98 per hour (for UW investigators).
- Outside investigators are subject to surcharges and UW institutional overhead fees.
- The investigator is responsible for cage per diem costs.
- The IVS Core guarantees that your mouse colony will be maintained in the highest professional manner according to your IACUC approval, and based on your specific needs and instructions.
- All IVS personnel performing Colony Management duties will need to be listed on the requesting investigator’s approved protocol.
To request colony management service, go to our IVS Forms page. Fill out a “Colony Management Request Form” and e-mail it to Robert J Hunter